Back-to-back weirdness

Published 10:07 pm Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Friday afternoon — for about four hours and with a high school soccer game and baseball game taking place less than a half-mile apart — removed any idea in my mind about the predictability of high school sports.

First Baptist Christian School’s fledgling sports programs all lead sort of a nomadic lifestyle. The early athletic years of a small private school mean way more road games than home games. The basketball and soccer teams have found homes at two different gyms and fields during the first three years of varsity seasons.

Unfortunately, the Lady Crusader soccer team was forced to look for yet another home fields for the rest of the season after the goals on their Godwin Boulevard field were stolen last Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

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For Friday afternoon’s match and the last couple of home games this season, the Lady Crusaders will be playing home games at the Suffolk Youth Athletic Association’s soccer complex.

The two goals cost the school $2,500 when First Baptist purchased them a few years ago, at the time placing them on a field at Southside Baptist Church along Carolina Road.

First Baptist coach George Martin knows what it takes to move the goals. Most recently, he did so when they were moved to the field behind Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church along Godwin Boulevard. Martin said it took four people to disassemble each goal when the school moved them.

Neither Martin nor anyone with First Baptist wanted to ask for charity to buy new goals, but he wouldn’t turn help away, either. It might be too late for the girls’ season, but the Crusaders begin their boys’ season in August.

Over at King’s Fork High School, city rivals KF and Lakeland played the hardest-fought baseball game a spectator could ask for.

The odd part was not the intensity the teams brought to the diamond; it was the fact that Lakeland prevailed while playing the last four innings with eight players, including a first baseman with a broken thumb on his throwing hand.

The short-handed Cavaliers became the ideal example of a team playing with nothing to lose and simply going for broke. The Bulldogs played as hard as possible, too, perhaps even too hard once their big rivals, with eight players, went from down 4-2 to ahead 8-4. KF was going for a season sweep over Lakeland, and the Bulldogs still have the opportunity for their best record in the program’s six-year history within reach.

It’s fairly normal for a soccer team to win when finishing a match down to nine or 10 players for the last part of the match. And there’s Hollywood’s version of the Hickory Huskers’ four-man team winning the Indiana state basketball title. But that didn’t happen as it was portrayed.

There may be plenty of examples of “eight men in” pulling out a high school baseball game during the 100-plus years of such ballgames, but it was the first time I’d seen it. For that matter, though, it’s also the first time I’ve heard of soccer goals being stolen.